Single Mothers with College Degrees: Much Less Likely to Live in Poverty

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Institute for Women's Policy Research


Earning a postsecondary degree is a well-established pathway out of poverty, and degrees are especially life-changing for women raising children on their own. Analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that in 2016, single mother poverty rates were an average of 33 percent lower at each additional level of education, with bachelor’s degree attainment or higher leading to decreases in single mother poverty of over 40 percent compared with one degree lower. Just 13 percent of single mothers who hold a bachelor’s degree live in poverty compared with 41 percent with only a high school diploma.



women in higher education, educational attainment, single mothers, career academies